Sometimes when our world changes dramatically, we find ourselves
grasping wildly for new solutions and ideas. But if we change too much
too fast, we risk getting rid of tools that can be useful to us. Or we
get paralyzed with fear and wind up doing not much of anything except
worrying about how bad things are getting.
Both responses can make a bad situation worse.
While it’s tempting to make massive changes during times of
transition (it feels good that we’re “doing something”) a better
solution is to maintain a balance.
Think of a person who wants to lose weight and be healthier. They
try every new fad diet that comes along. By doing so they risk
abandoning whatever healthy activities they were doing in favor of
something new and unproven. They lose the benefit and results of what
As we face a challenging economy this year, many of us will want to
try new things. And that’s good. New problems require new solutions.
But the first step is to evaluate what tools you already have that can continue to help you be successful.
What have you done in the past that helps your organization be
successful? What strategies or activities succeeded? As you look at
these, ask yourself, are they still relevant in this new economy? Does
it seem likely they’ll still work?
Please note, I’m not suggesting you necessarily do more of what used
to work. Quantity is not a substitute for quality. These days many
companies are going overboard on mailings and telemarketing. They fear
the success rate on these activities is dropping so they do more to
make up the difference.
It reminds me of the old saying about selling cars: “We lose money on every car but we make it up in volume”.
What I am suggesting is that you take a hard look at the basics of running your business and keep doing what makes sense.
For example, you still have to provide a product or service. So
reaching out and talking to people in your markets makes sense. The
more relationships you can build and strengthen, the better you can
weather this economic storm.
What other fundamental activities have worked in the past for you?
Are they still effective? If so, make sure you keep doing them, as long
as they serve your organization.
Remember, this is a time of transition and opportunity. The
successful people of tomorrow are those who use today as an opportunity
to learn how to do better.